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Preston’s traditional Christmas Lights switch on cancelled

Written by on July 3, 2020

It may only be the start of July, but preparations are already underway for this years Christmas events.

But with coronavirus causing waves of cancellations to popular events, festivals and large gatherings so far in 2020, festivities this winter will be very different from those in previous years.

Despite the number of coronavirus cases and deaths dropping across Lancashire and the UK in recent weeks, health bosses fear the number of cases could rise again this winter as a Covid-19 vaccine is likely not to be ready.

There is also uncertainty over what social distancing measures will be in place with ‘1m-plus’ guidelines likely to still be in effect.

Preston BID, the organisers and funders of the Christmas Lights switch on, have announced the cancellation of the traditional lights switch-on.

The event is normally a highlight of the city’s event calendar, regularly attracting thousands of people, and helps formally kick-start the Christmas period.

Instead, the event on November 21 will be replaced with a ‘virtual switch on’ but Christmas lights will still be installed.

They will also look to recognise the ‘Pride of Preston’ for their incredible work during the coronavirus pandemic.

A Preston BID spokesperson said: “We, like thousands of people, always look forward to this special event, but this year, owing to obvious circumstances, we have no alternative but to look at different ways to mark the occasion, in the interest of public safety.

“We can confirm that we plan to launch the Christmas period in Preston in a special way by hosting a ‘Virtual Switch On’, in association with Smooth Radio North West, the region’s largest commercial radio station.

“In addition, during the online event on Saturday 21st November, the BID has confirmed it will look to recognise the ‘Pride of Preston’ for their endeavours during the pandemic lockdown.”

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